Tepi and I have known each other for over 15 years. He is a stalwart figure in the fashion and street wear industry and has held various positions at many major brands throughout his career. In 2006 he opened up his first retail space in The City of West Covina (located in Los Angeles county) called Store 13, and has been on another level of street hustle ever since, so it was only natural he got his own peeple post.
Tell us a little about the store 13 brick and mortar stores and locations and some background on them?
Store13 was founded on the concept of a Lifestyle Boutique to bring influential brands from LA, SF & NY to my hometown of West Covina, CA. Opening in November of 2006, was just really an idea that I thought I’d take a shot in the dark with. After having to learn very quickly how to run a business, came the opportunity to open a second location in the world famous city of Pasadena, CA. I think I have ADD and I’m sure it shows if you’ve shopped at Store13 over the past 5 years. The reason that I say that is because 1 day I’m skateboarding, then the next I’m going to Vegas to see Kaskade, then finally I’m riding my Fixed Gear bike at the beach. So I try to communicate that Southern California Lifestyle of being diverse. That’s how I grew up, and that’s how I’m raising my kids. And that’s why our customers love Store13 because we always keep them guessing.
How did you get your shot in the clothing/fashion industry? And when?
I grew up surfing even though I grew up in West Covina. Over the years I became a friends with the crew at Huntington Surf & Sport on Main Street. I always told them that I’d love to work there. Three weeks after I graduated high school I got a phone call from them asking if I’d like to work there. The next week I moved from West Covina to HB and the rest is history! I actually owe a lot to the guys at HSS because I’m still friends with and still work with the old crew from HSS!
Where do you see streetwear and fashion going now?
Fashion is forever. Streetwear…
With stores like Huf and Primitive spreading their wings successfully into retail, do you see Store 13 also doing that?
Yes! Store13 and our other brands have been approached many times by other retailers to carry our brand. If we never opened a 2nd store in Pasadena, I bet you would’ve seen our brand in another store. Now that the dust is settled and Store13.com is taking off, we plan on expanding our brand into wholesale.
For people yearning to break into the game what are some suggestions you may have for them?
Go to school and learn accounting, business and graphic design. Then find $$$ to back you!!!
#1 Played song on your IPOD?
Any song from Incubus